Apple, as per recent reports, is working to add multi-user support to iPads and iPhones over the coming weeks. It means that you will be able to securely add multiple users to one iPhone or iPad without giving them access to your sensitive information.
The patent, “Provision of domains in secure enclave to support multiple users” (well, that’s a mouthful), was recently granted to Apple. This patent explains the technology required to allow one or more users to securely access one Apple device. The company even mentioned “both single-user mobile computing devices and multi-user laptop and desktop computing devices.”
“A computing device can employ several passcodes and associated encryption keys, where multiple passcodes or encryptions keys may be associated with each different user account on the system,” explains the patent.
So, as per the patent, an Apple device would recognize multiple users via passcodes and encryption keys. And if this happens, the primary user needs to secure his/her personal information like payment info and account info. On the other hand, he/she also needs to give access to certain shared info like browser information.
Hence, to “enable multi-user access to the data processing system, group keys can be created, such that via membership within a group on the system (e.g. administrators, users, etc.) can enable different levels of access to the system,” reads the patent.
The patent also refers to a peripheral processor or processing system which will differ from the system processors. This rather “is a system on a chip (SoC) integrated circuit that enables various secure peripheral and input/output (I/O) operations.” Although the Cupertino giant did not mention their T2 chip which comes in many of their modern devices, they did refer to a secure enclave processor (SEP) for the system.
This SEP will be “the primary arbiter of all data access on the system”. It means that all of the data including private and shared information must pass through this SEP or the future T2 chip.
Now, the support for multiple users on a device such as the iPad has been demanded by users since way back. Back in 2013, Apple was researching how to give access to one Touch ID-enabled device to multiple users. However, that feature did not make its way. Now, we just have to wait and hope that the iPhone-makers roll out this much-awaited feature in the near future. Until then keep your iPhone or iPad to yourself, peeps!